No movement on farm bill, Peterson says

The committee farm bill failed spectacularly on the floor last week in a 195 to 234 vote despite the support of Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerSudan sanctions spur intense lobbying OPINION | GOP's 7-year ObamaCare blood oath ends in failure A simple fix to encourage bipartisanship in the House MORE (R-Ohio) and a cohort of 24 Democrats led by Peterson.

The ranking member said that Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) tried to look for a solution at a Wednesday conference meeting but there was none to be had.

ADVERTISEMENT
"They had a knock-down, drag out conference meeting and then nothing was decided," Peterson said.

He dismissed calls made Wednesday by House conservatives to bring up a Republican-only farm bill. 

"They can't get that passed," he said. He said even if the farm bill cuts food stamps by $135 billion as called for in the House budget, the GOP would not have the votes since some GOP members never support farm subsidies while others want them.

The ranking member also continued to push back against blame from House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorSpecial interests hide behind vets on Independence Day What to watch for in Comey’s testimony Trump nominates two new DOD officials MORE (R-Va.) that Democrats sank the bill. He reiterated that the approval of an amendment by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Ill.) to bolster work requirements for food stamps was the reason the bill failed.

"Without that I could get that to where I was, 45 to 50 votes," Peterson said. He said that he had given Cantor a list with unacceptable amendments marked "deal-breakers" so Cantor knew that bringing up Southerland's amendment would cause problems.

"Then he came up to me and said I need your votes to get this to conference, why can't you help me?" Peterson recalled. "And I said it's because they all hate me because I'm working with you."

Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowWarren on Kid Rock Senate run: 'We all thought Trump was joking,' too Dems abuse yet another Senate tradition to block Trump's agenda Kid Rock hints at Senate run announcement MORE (D-Mich.) this week continued to urge the House to bring up the farm bill passed in the Senate, but there appears to be little GOP support for doing so.